Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Yesterday and today I've spent considerable time trying to remove the snow from our sidewalks and driveway. I can't say that I enjoy doing that, but I have been struck by the fact that it is so still and quiet outside with the snow falling. Traffic is almost nonexistent. People are inside. And the snow falls so quietly. I guess we just aren't used to stillness and quietness anymore. But as I was working. the words of this week's hymn choice kept going through my mind, especially the first verse, "O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! … " It must have been a still, quiet night when Jesus was born. And the silence was broken by the angel choir. This thought was part of what led Philip Brooks to write this special carol. He was an Episcopal Priest, and he first thought about this song while he was on a journey to the Holy Land in 1865. On Christmas Eve, while he was heading to Jerusalem from Bethlehem, he stopped at an open field, to watch the dusk envelop the town. And after that, he attended a five hour church service at the Church of Nativity. And for three long years, he kept his memories to himself. Then he was motivated to share his memories with a church gathering. And what he did was write a five stanza poem, and give it to the church organist, Lewis Redner, who gave the poem its musical background. And this song was heard for the first time on December 27, 1868. Four of the more familiar verses are shared below.

(1) O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

(2) For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!

(3) How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv'n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

(4) O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Listen to it here. LISTEN

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